Meta-efficiency is the analysis of efficiency at a more comprehensive level. Metaefficient Review assesses products considering not only their energy efficiency but also the embodied energy, toxicity, affordability, and usability. [more inside] posted by netbros at 9:01 PM PST - 4 comments
The Armadillo (with audio) by Elizabeth Bishop + LanternFestival"... between
the kite sticks of the Southern Cross,
receding, dwindling, solemnly
and steadily forsaking us,
or, in the downdraft from a peak,
suddenly turning dangerous.
Last night another big one fell.
It splattered like an egg of fire
against the cliff behind the house.
The flame ran down. We saw the pair
of owls who nest there flying up
and up, their whirling black-and-white
stained bright pink underneath, until
they shrieked up out of sight.
The ancient owls' nest must have burned.
Hastily, all alone,
a glistening armadillo left the scene,
rose-flecked, head down, tail down,
and then a baby rabbit jumped out,
short-eared, to our surprise.
So soft!—a handful of intangible ash
with fixed, ignited eyes.
Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry!
O falling fire and piercing cry
and panic, and a weak mailed fist
clenched ignorant against the sky!" posted by vronsky at 6:02 PM PST - 9 comments
Urban legend has it that the province of Saskatchewan, Canada appeared in red in some 1950's American social studies textbooks, along with other "communist" countries such as Russia, China and Cuba.
It is true that Saskatchewan's "natural governing party", the socialistic New Democratic Party have held power in the province for 47 of the last 65 years. And it's true that the NDP's most famous leader (and Canada's Greatest Canadian), Tommy Douglas, brought universal healthcare to the province, an achievement which paved the way for it to come to the rest of Canada.
But now, after suffering their worst defeat in 20 years, Saskatchewan's New Democratic Party is searching for a new leader... [more inside] posted by Jaybo at 4:13 PM PST - 20 comments
Scans_dailyis was a LiveJournal community specializing in posting scans of comic books, both older and current ones. On Friday night, however, the community got suspended, allegedly because comics author Peter David complained that one of his books was posted to it (David denies this in the linked blog post.)
Regulars at scans_daily are outraged that the community has been shut down, claiming that the ability for people to "try before they buy" encouraged readers to buy more comics. Other comics fans are not so kind and cite that, for better or worse, the community was knowingly violating copyright.
The community has resurfaced and is at least discussing what changes should be made to avoid this "unpleasantness" in the future and make the community more "copyright friendly".
We've seen these issues come up with movies, games, and music; now it's comic books' turn to try to figure out what to do about the internet and digital technology. posted by Legomancer at 1:55 PM PST - 49 comments
Newly jobless and homeless former members of the Japanese upper or upper-middle class are turning to a distinctly 21st century version of the flophouse, the net room: a tiny cubicle, rented by the day, with that all-important feature... an internet connection and a computer. [more inside] posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:54 PM PST - 41 comments
Erotic expression in printed form is an art that has been around since the days of Christ but surprisingly has never seemed to go away. This post aims to take a cursory survey of some of the more important works of erotic literature that have been published over the last few hundred years, and to examine the current state of erotic writing. [more inside] posted by Ziggy Zaga at 3:52 PM PST - 33 comments
A man whose bravery and fame is matched only by his commitment to truth, the great Baron Münchhausen has permeated all artistic mediums of any worth: books (on-line and off), films (old and new), cartoons (french, english), an animated short film, an online graphic novel, even a game of role-playing -- if you are so despicable a person as to, for no other reason than the amusement of yourself and your fellows, slander the Baron's name with lies of your own invention. Though a similarly-named syndrome would falsely imply otherwise, he is an entirely honest man who exaggerates as little as he boasts, and as to the latter I have assurances from no less a personage than the Baron himself that his humility is without equal in the 7 earth continents, and 2 out of 3 of the moon's. posted by TimeTravelSpeed at 10:22 AM PST - 22 comments
Octopus chaos. The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium's gregarious and curious two-spotted octopus plays with tank filter resulting in the release of hundreds of gallons of seawater flooding the facility. FLICK pix here. posted by azul at 9:07 PM PST - 72 comments
Looking for some new head gear for your next party? While many reach for a cap to cover up those bad hair days, Spanish designer Kepa Rasmussen would rather sculpt a mask. Crafting highly innovative facial sculptures under his label Aardvark K Mask, Rasmussen's conceptual pieces are hand-crafted expressly to make heads turn. posted by netbros at 8:04 PM PST - 4 comments
Electric Box is a puzzle game with the goal of getting power from point A to point B. To accomplish this there are solar panels, refrigerators, lasers, kettles, electromagnets, and other doodads. It's Friday somewhere, right? [more inside] posted by Korou at 8:45 AM PST - 23 comments
The first stage in the evolution is contingent and cannot be contrived. In this first stage, the voice, by no fault of its own, finds itself trapped between two poles, two competing belief systems. And so this first stage necessitates the second: the voice learns to be flexible between these two fixed points, even to the point of equivocation. Then the third stage: this native flexibility leads to a sense of being able to "see a thing from both sides." And then the final stage, which I think of as the mark of a certain kind of genius: the voice relinquishes ownership of itself, develops a creative sense of disassociation in which the claims that are particular to it seem no stronger than anyone else's. There it is, my little theory—I'd rather call it a story. It is a story about a wonderful voice, occasionally used by citizens, rarely by men of power.
Paul Graham recently wrote an essay. And saved all his edits, so you can replay it in entirety just as he wrote it.* It's quite fascinating to see if you ever wondered how he (or other writers) went about their job. And here's the Hacker News thread he initiated. This can be a very useful tool to watch and understand your own writing process, or understand and help your students write. Like cvs/svn mirror for long form writing. [more inside] posted by forwebsites at 5:08 AM PST - 54 comments
Only 325 days until Broadway's Hilton Theater hosts the first preview of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a $40 million musical directed by Juliet Taymor with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge of U2. Investors hope it will fare better than another big-budget pulp adaptation. posted by Joe Beese at 11:04 AM PST - 35 comments
"He was sentenced to death after the military coup in 1980, a few months later he was pardoned but put under house arrest. While under arrest, he began to write a collection of poems; the aim of which was to create portraits of all the people he had ever met in his life" [Maninbo, or Ten Thousand Lives]. To date, 26 volumes from the ongoing collection have been published. Meet Ko Un. Ex-Buddhist Monk and one of South Korea's greatest poets. posted by vacapinta at 8:17 AM PST - 6 comments
Ex-Masturbator "Yeah we said it….Nobody talks about it, but most people have done it or are still doing it. It's seems to be a rite of passage for both girls and guys into the world of sex. Some say masturbation is not a sin, some say that it is. But is it really okay in the eyes of God?" posted by various at 6:51 AM PST - 219 comments
The San Francisco Chronicle to suffer deep cuts and possibly closure. Noting an acceleration of long-standing losses, Hearst is taking drastic steps with the Chronicle, without (in its announcement, at least) any of the brave promises of perseverance which often accompany such news. Sale or (failing that) closure will ensue if the cuts don't work fast enough. Fallen into bankruptcy in the past two months have been publishers of four major newspapers (LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and Minneapolis Star-Tribune) -- but so far none of those papers appears in any risk of folding. posted by MattD at 6:21 PM PST - 44 comments
Due to “credible death and kidnapping threats”, T-Pain has cancelled a concert in Guyana for Mashramani, the festival that marks the anniversary of Guyana’s independence from Great Britain.
Last years, celebration was soured by a killing spree perpetrated by a heavily armed gang led by man known as “Fine Man”. Because the 23 victims were mainly of East Indian descent, the massacre was a powder keg issue for the tiny South American nation. With a population of 44% East Indian and 30% African ancestries, Guyana tends to be socially and politically divided along ethnic identity lines. [more inside] posted by Stu-Pendous at 3:45 PM PST - 12 comments
A single nutrient may have turned early humans into civilized man. Has stripping it from our diet given rise to cancer, diabetes, and other civilized diseases? "There has been a thousandfold increase in the consumption of soybean oil over the past hundred years. The result is an unplanned experiment in brain and heart chemistry, one whose subject is the entire population of the developed world." A series of epidemiological studies showed that populations that consume high levels of omega-3s in the form of seafood are the least afflicted by the major diseases associated with the Western diet. (via) [more inside] posted by netbros at 2:03 PM PST - 66 comments
Poaching – not pears, not birds, but plants. In the feed-me-Seymour vein of green and growing things, these are the plants that eat things – too bad they aren’t able to defend themselves from people and habitat loss. But wait! There’s help on the way. [more inside] posted by mightshould at 1:03 PM PST - 9 comments
29 year old Hiromi Uehara first mesmerized the jazz community with her 2003 Telarc debut, Another Mind. 4 albums later she continues to astonish and inspire. On February 3rd, she released the album Duet, a collaboration with Chick Corea, having first played with Corea at age 17. A graduate of the Berklee School of Music, Hiromi tours relentlessly with her crack band. I defy your jaw not to drop at their performances here, here, and here. [more inside] posted by Roach at 11:49 AM PST - 85 comments
"Iran is dying. The collapse of Iran's birth rate during the past 20 years is the fastest recorded in any country, ever. Demographers have sought in vain to explain Iran's population implosion through family planning policies, or through social factors such as the rise of female literacy. But quantifiable factors do not explain the sudden collapse of fertility. It seems that a spiritual decay has overcome Iran, despite best efforts of a totalitarian theocracy.
Second, according to a recent report from the US Council on Foreign Relations, "Iran serves as the major transport hub for opiates produced by [Afghanistan], and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime estimates that Iran has as many as 1.7 million opiate addicts." That is, 5% of Iran's adult, non-elderly population of 35 million is addicted to opiates. That is an astonishing number, unseen since the peak of Chinese addiction during the 19th century." [more inside] posted by 445supermag at 6:18 AM PST - 72 comments
Vocalist Sayuri Anpo is far from well known, even in her native Japan, despite an extensive discography, the ability to cross multiple genres and an amazing voice. But you can listen to a number of her works online: she does rock both here and here, something gentler here, and something closer to dance here (video image slightly NSFW). She recently teamed up with other musicians to form a light jazz group, with demos available for free download here (alternate link to demo files here for those who can't open .lzh files). posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:50 PM PST - 5 comments
He Saw, She Saw. According to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, beauty may affect men's and women's brains in different ways. posted by sarabeth at 2:46 PM PST - 33 comments
Guitar Noise is a free guitar lesson website with hundreds of articles, tips and reviews for students of this versatile instrument. Whether you are a beginner, a lefty, a bass player or a singer, Guitar Noise has lessons on nearly everything and anything to do with the guitar. There are many talented musicians out there. The artist profiles section includes interviews with dozens. The forums, blog and podcasts help you keep up with this thriving community. posted by netbros at 1:36 PM PST - 11 comments
Inventor of the Döner has died. As anybody who has been drunk at 2 a.m. in Germany knows, the Döner is a staple of German fast-food cuisine. Although similar dishes have been around for a while, the modern version is believed to be invented in 1971 in West Berlin by Mahmut Aygün. From there it spread to many other cities and countries in Europe and beyond. Mahmut Aygün died at the age of 87 last month in Berlin. [more inside] posted by chillmost at 10:44 AM PST - 121 comments
Estranged father and son Chucho and Bebo Valdés, both pioneers of Cuban jazz, sat down and immediately played a duet after years of being apart. This recording of their reunion beautifully captures the range of emotions that could only be expressed without words. posted by roaring beast at 9:27 AM PST - 13 comments
Binyam Mohamed will shortly be released from Guantanamo, where hunger strikes and beatings still continue. TPM attempts to assesses the level of President Obama's apparent commitment to transparency, accountability for Bush administration officials who may have committed crimes, and adhering to the rule of law. It highlights Glenn Greenwald's recent article: There is simply no way to argue that our leaders should be immunized from criminal investigations for torture and other war crimes without believing that (a) the U.S. is and should be immune from the principles we've long demanded other nations obey and (b) we are free to ignore our treaty obligations any time it suits us. posted by adamvasco at 1:09 PM PST - 43 comments
The Drunken Boat publishes poetry from around the world, translations of poetry, reviews of poetry collections and anthologies, and interviews with well-known poets. The current issue features Cave Canem poets, home for the many voices of African-American poetry and committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African-American poets. posted by netbros at 9:33 AM PST - 3 comments
What's wrong with Summer Stiers? "She has suffered retinal bleeding, seizures, bone death and kidney failure. But no one knows what’s really wrong. Now a team of medical experts is trying a new way to diagnose what ails her — and others who are suffering from mysterious diseases." New York Times Magazine article about The Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the National Institue of Health. posted by billysumday at 8:43 AM PST - 28 comments
The bumping off of a famous person is the
sort of oyster that any detective delights to open, so you can just bet the
family jewels that I was pretty much elated when my Chief, the late Thomas
Lee Woolwine, District Attorney of Los Angeles County, called me into his
private office on the morning of February 3rd, 1922, and assigned me to
represent his office in the investigation of this greatest of all murder
mysteries. -- Excerpted from an article archived at Taylorology, a site exploring the life and death of William Desmond Taylor, a silent movie actor and director whose unsolved murder was among the earliest Hollywood true crime scandals. Researcher Bruce Long first published his accumulated information about the case as a small fanzine which evolved into a monthly electronic newsletter and is now a vast archive of articles and interviews, official documents, photos, and more. Although the Taylor case is the main focus, there's also a wealth of supplemental information about the silent film industry and its stars. [more inside] posted by amyms at 1:58 AM PST - 7 comments
What if we could rid the world of AIDS? The notion might sound like fantasy: HIV infection has no cure and no vaccine, after all. Yet there is a way to completely wipe it out - at least in theory. What's more, it would take only existing medical technology to do the job.
Unknown Family. 15 years ago, he found a box of 44 negatives at a garage sale in Aiken, SC, and after wondering about them for a long time, posted them to Flickr in October 2008 in hopes of learning who the family is. There are a few clues, but the search seems to have gone cold. [more inside] posted by Devils Rancher at 3:49 PM PST - 58 comments
I don't know if you like reading stories about construction workers bringing smiles to the faces of kids with cancer. If you like that kind of stuff, here's a story like that. You might tear up. posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:30 PM PST - 24 comments
After appearing last month on the ABC reality television show 'Wife Swap,' "San Francisco resident Stephen Fowler was forced to resign from the boards of two nonprofits, allegedly received e-mailed death threats and stood on the sidelines as his wife, Renee Stephens, issued a public statement condemning his behavior and asking him to get 'professional help.'...Thanks to online TV and easy access to private information, Fowler's 15 minutes of fame have snowballed beyond his control." "What has generated such wrath is Fowler's condescending treatment of Gayla Long, a mother of four from rural Missouri....In wince-producing remarks, Fowler, who is British, wrote off middle America with such pronouncements as 'Your two languages seem to be bad English and redneck.'" Video highlights - 1, 2. [more inside] posted by ericb at 10:52 AM PST - 168 comments
BABIES’ skulls dashed against rocks; attempts to twist off the heads of toddlers. Girls, their mothers and grandmothers (and sometimes male relatives too) raped at knife- or gunpoint, the weapons then used to inflict mutilation. Women hauled off to camps or just tied to trees and gang-raped. Thousands of children, some as young as nine, snatched or recruited by armed gangs (or regular forces) and made into drug-crazed killers, the girls among them often serially abused or taken by commanders as “wives”. Such are the horrors reported from some recent conflict zones... [more inside] posted by kliuless at 8:28 AM PST - 41 comments
60+ One-Of-A-Kind Robots From Science Fiction. "You'd think a major advantage of robots is you can mass-produce them. They're just metal-and-circuit bodies. But science fiction is full of one-of-a-kind bots. Here are all the bots for whom they broke the mold." posted by taz at 1:36 AM PST - 40 comments
Jim, The Wonder Dog. During the height of the Great Depression, a "plain black and white setter" entertained and mystified the citizens of Missouri with his "extraordinary cleverness" and his seemingly inexplicable ability to foretell the future. [more inside] posted by amyms at 12:41 AM PST - 5 comments
Sparks of Life. "That the electric 'spark of life' figured prominently in debates over the nature of life in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is well known. Less well known is the fact that prior to this period, gunpowder was often identified with the substances that were necessary to life, if not as a vitalistic spirit, then as an essential element in the animation of the body. The idea of a spark of life went back to ancient times, likening living beings to the glowing embers of a fire. In the Old Testament, for example, the wise woman of Tekoah begs for the life of her son, pleading 'they will stamp out my last live ember.' But from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, this vital flame was often equated with gunpowder. There was fire in the blood: not electric, but pyrotechnic fire." posted by homunculus at 9:38 PM PST - 11 comments
Two examples of community weblogs that revolve around DIY-comix-by-flash-template: Toonlet, where the comments are in comic form, too; and Pixton, which allows for a bit more creative control (but no comix-comments). posted by not_on_display at 2:04 PM PST - 5 comments
Several months ago, poker player Tom "durrrr" Dwan issued an unprecedentedchallange. In effect, he is offering 3:1 odds—his $1.5 million to the challengers $500,000—that, playing high-stakes heads-up (one on one) online poker, he will be winning after 50,000 hands. The challenge is open to anyone except for durrrr's good friend Phil Galfond; threeplayers have reportedly accepted, and play in the first match began yesterday. The results are being tracked in real time here and here; you can brave the inanity of twoplustwo (previously) and read the ongoing match thread here. posted by cmyr at 4:15 AM PST - 27 comments
Last week when I checked my mailbox, I found that my new neighbour had left me a note stating that he was having a party and to let him know if the noise was too loud.
The problem I have with the note is not that he was having a party and didn't invite me, it was that he selected a vibrant background of balloons, effectively stating that his party was going to be vibrant and possibly have balloons and that I couldn't come. [more inside] posted by Ljubljana at 2:30 AM PST - 108 comments
Looking to boost your mad Photoshop skillz? Here's a trio of sites that offer the latest in PS tips and tricks. Best Photoshop Tutorials has vectors, icons, and free brushes. PShero works with effects and shapes, and Photoshop Girl features photograph enhancement. That should get you started. posted by netbros at 10:00 PM PST - 15 comments
Combat Outpost. "As US and the UK forces struggle for a way forward in Afghanistan, John D McHugh's unique film from one of the US military's most dangerous outposts shows just how western forces are losing ground to the Taliban." Where are Afghanistan's missing millions? "Clancy Chassay hears charges of corruption levelled against the UN and aid agencies after millions earmarked for a Kabul hospital disappear." posted by homunculus at 9:25 PM PST - 21 comments
In other news: prominent Iraq war supporter and atheist writer Christopher Hitchens caught in street brawl with Syrian nazis in Beirut, Lebanon, after defacing the group's poster with "No, no, Fuck You". The assault occurred on the eve of a lecture held by Mr. Hitchens at the American University of Beirut, on the subject of "Who are the revolutionaries in today's Middle East". posted by Anything at 5:05 PM PST - 99 comments
With all the excitement in the air about Watchmen, let's take time to celebrate another team of heroes, a band of outcasts with unusual powers, brought together by a man in a wheelchair. Yes, of course, I'm talking about the Doom Patrol. [more inside] posted by jbickers at 3:36 PM PST - 64 comments
While the clubs of London are rocking to Lady Gaga and Paul Van Dyk, the dancefloor sounds of the capital are shunned in the north-west of England. Why? Because a whole generation of dance music fans are putting a donk on it. This documentary aims to find out why this genre of fast MC-led hardcore is so popular in one corner of the country whilst being completely unknown in others. [more inside] posted by mippy at 10:21 AM PST - 91 comments
Be a hero on your own time(VIDEO) When McDonald's employee Nigel Haskett interceded to stop a man who was beating a woman in the restaurant, the assailant went outside, retrieved a gun from his car and shot Haskett – “multiple times,” as the employee stood at the door to keep the assailant from re-entering the restaurant. $300,000 in medical bills later, McDonald's insurance says no dice: "we have denied this claim in its entirety as it is our opinion that Mr. Haskett's injuries did not arise out of or within the course and scope of his employment." posted by thisisdrew at 10:05 AM PST - 104 comments
Boxee is a free media-center program (currently only for Mac and Linux), that, in addition to playing most multimedia formats, provides a portal for many popular internet streaming channels. Its interface enabled folks who used Apple Tv, or who had connected their computer to their television, to browse and watch this content much like they would a regular television broadcast. But yesterday, NBC's popular (in the US) Hulu announced that it would be pulling its programs from Boxee at the request of its content providers. While the move puzzled and angered many Boxee users, who pointed out that they still saw the same advertisements that they would see on Hulu's site, some speculate that the large media companies saw Boxee as a threat to the cable delivery system. In other words, Hulu is for laptops, not for televisions, an auxiliary instead of an alternative to traditional tv. posted by bibliowench at 9:24 AM PST - 77 comments
Tiny Art Director Bill Zeman’s daughter is the Tiny Art Director. She tells him what to draw and then tells him just exactly how much she hates it. Bill has been recording her comments and posting them with his art since she was two and a half. via posted by various at 7:46 AM PST - 57 comments
You Say You Want a Revolution -- "Despite some bravado, I myself was a cautious person looking to break the shackles of bourgeois detachment. I felt real relief in seemingly giving my all. But at the same time, I was terrified. Such existential 'acting out' does not ordinarily lead to political good sense. The importance of demonstrating revolutionary credentials or moral purity gets in the way of clear thinking about how to strengthen the movement or take advantage of political opportunities." Howard Machtinger, a founding member of the Weather Underground, provides a contemporary critique of his group's actions. [via] posted by billysumday at 6:35 AM PST - 19 comments
If you don't see any patterns in your data, yet day-to-day fluctuations persist, he is reacting to something you aren't tracking. Look elsewhere. A heartrending (and long) online log of one father's 10-year struggle to make sense of his child's ADHD and find a way to treat it without medication. posted by Deathalicious at 11:35 PM PST - 60 comments
This may be one of the worst (or best) investments, per dollar, of all time: Meet BrisConnections, a toll road development corporation based in Brisbane, Australia. Normally a toll road is a very nice sort of investment, it being basically the government making people give you money, for something people have to do. Some say it's likely to return 28% or more. So why is it trading for $0.001 per share? [more inside] posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:30 PM PST - 32 comments
In the name of transparency, all the Fed’s stimulus-spending data will be posted at a new government site, Recovery.gov - more than a minor victory for the democracy, it could be a stimulus in and of itself - databases released in machine-readable formats - like RSS, XML, and KML—spawn new business and grease the wheels of the economy. posted by stbalbach at 9:08 PM PST - 12 comments
The Essential Parallel Between Science and Democracy. "[T]he restorative steps Obama has taken vis-à-vis science are praiseworthy not so much because they respect science as because they respect the grand institutions of democracy. This is no accident, because the very virtues that make democracy work are also those that make science work: a commitment to reason and transparency, an openness to critical scrutiny, a skepticism toward claims that too neatly support reigning values, a willingness to listen to countervailing opinions, a readiness to admit uncertainty and ignorance, and a respect for evidence gathered according to the sanctioned best practices of the moment." posted by sarabeth at 1:58 PM PST - 28 comments
An erupting stratovolcano poses numerous hazards for nearby habitation, but none nearly so terrifying and deadly as the pyroclasticflow. Pyroclasticflows, comprised of tons of superheated sulfuric gases, particulate rock materials and ash, can reach temperatures of 1,830 °F and travel at alarming speeds up to 450mph. Convection of materials within the clouds causes them to become a suspension, fluidizing and thundering noxiously across the surrounding landscape for miles, in some cases even uphill or across open water. Wherever these clouds come in contact with humans the result is catastrophe, as the residents of Herculaneum and St. Pierre, Martinique learned within minutes of the eruptions of Vesuvius in 79AD and Pelee in 1902-- both towns were overwhelmed by pyroclastic clouds, igniting all flammable materials and incinerating and suffocating the inhabitants. None survived Herculaneum, while just two of St. Pierre's 26,000 survived, one of whom was a prisoner condemned to death and awaiting his execution in a dungeon cell. Despite their incredible capacity for violence, pyroclastic flows are also capable of producing mesmerizing, awe-inspiringbeauty. posted by baphomet at 11:53 AM PST - 18 comments
Funny Or Die seemed to be one of those start-up websites that might not have legs; a flash in the pan. Heck, it was started by two actual stars (will ferrell and adam mckay) and sometimes that spells "lack of creative interest" doom in regards to their participation. Today it's one of the best launching platforms for young comics looking to make a distinction from the dysfunctionally democratic haze of youtube(s). It's success is also noted by hollywood.
What might be most encouraging it that it has become home to a litany of non-obvious tone projects and... well... some strange, interesting stuff. Witness: the surprisingly absorbing trailer for The Uncler. posted by Lacking Subtlety at 10:19 AM PST - 47 comments
Part 1 of a What's On documentary by Granada TV about the Buzzcocks and Magazine (Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley), broadcast on July 27, 1978 and presented by Tony Wilson.
2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l Permafrost posted by vronsky at 9:38 AM PST - 15 comments
One night, very late, I was browsing the internet, using my current computer, Shalosh B. Ekhad, III. I was searching for "Ekhad". All of a sudden, to my amazement, I chanced on a website whose last update was Sept. 30, 2050, and found this little Elementary Geometry textbook.
This text may seem a bit strange to 2001 humans. It appears that there are no proofs, only statements, in Maple, using English-based names for the definitions and theorems. But THE STATEMENT IS THE PROOF, ready to be run on Maple, that will output "true" if the proof-statement is correct, and "false" otherwise. [more inside] posted by orthogonality at 9:32 AM PST - 42 comments
"The Boyle Family are a family of collaborative artists based in London. Their best known work, however, continues to be their Journey to the Surface of the Earth. Begun in 1964, this work encompasses many different series. Each of these series has involved various random selection techniques to isolate a rectangle of the Earth's surface. In the case of the World Series 1000 random selections were made from a giant map of the world by blindfolded visitors. Once the random selection has been made, they recreate the site in a fixed and permanent form as a painted fibreglass relief. They recognise that each work is, in a sense, a failure. They know the selections can never be truly random and that it is impossible to eliminate themselves and their own subjective influences." posted by dhruva at 8:23 PM PST - 3 comments
Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl is an Icelandic poet. He translates Icelandic poetry into English (I particularly like his versions of Sigfús Daðason), and he has an interesting interview on Icelandic poetry ("Curiously enough, back in the days the nationalists would sometimes write in danish. And writing in a foreign language was more or less seen as the only alternative to literature being a mere hobby until Halldór Laxness came along"). But really this is an elaborate excuse to post a link to Höpöhöpö Böks: Köld öld Böks mjög örg, Ölböl örlög Böks! (Warning: My wife thought the linked video sounded like vomiting.) Via wood s lot. This one goes out to my man Kattullus; hope you can stick around! [more inside] posted by languagehat at 3:40 PM PST - 12 comments
The year is 1932. Hitler is rising in power. Harold Urey announces the discovery of deuterium, a hydrogen isotope. James Chadwick discovers the neutron. Heisenberg receives the Nobel Prize for his work in Quantum physics. It is a miracle year in Physics, matched only by Einstein's advances in 1905. A few of the most brilliant physicists in the world decide to convene in Copenhagen and ... write a play! Written on the 100th anniversary of the death of Goethe, The Blegdamsvej Faust is a remarkable document from a turning point in Physics. [more inside] posted by vacapinta at 2:31 PM PST - 10 comments
The wandering days and bunk-bed nights of Fashion Week’s handsome (male) rookies. "Financially speaking, male modeling is not unlike being a straight-male porn star: The men have always made less than the women, and very few become big names. For most magazine work, models are paid less than $250. Twenty percent of that goes to the agency, which also bills models for their board and expenses. 'Sometimes you get charged for things you never thought of,' says Petey, 'like $30 a month to be on the website.'" posted by geoff. at 2:03 PM PST - 53 comments
"He is responsible for the online lives of 5 million monthly ... visitors -- the hackers, slackers and potty-mouthed geeks. They come ... when they should be doing calc homework. Now -- in debt, out of work, another example of the Internet's intangibility -- [he] just needs to figure out how to make that matter."
The Washington Post profiles Christopher Poole, founder of 4chan. (Previously, minus the current economic realities) posted by mkultra at 7:35 AM PST - 64 comments
What is really threatened by the decline of newspapers and the related rise of online media is reporting -- on-the-ground reporting by trained journalists who know the subject, have developed sources on all sides, strive for objectivity and are working with editors who check their facts, steer them in the right direction and are a further check against unwarranted assumptions, sloppy thinking and reporting, and conscious or unconscious bias.
The Folkways Collection is a downloadable, 24-part podcast series that "explores the remarkable collection of music, spoken word, and sound recordings that make up Folkways Records (now at the Smithsonian as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)." posted by Miko at 9:06 AM PST - 27 comments
The Space Game -- Friday U.S. Federal Holiday Flash Fun. This Flash game combines the resource gathering and management of a standard strategy game with the tower-defendiness of a tower defense game. Build a network of mining stations and solar collectors, and protect them from pirate raiders with repair stations and missile and laser turrets. posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:06 AM PST - 22 comments
Sounds of American English details each of the consonants and vowels of American English with a real-time Flash animated articulatory diagram of each sound; video and audio of the sound spoken in context and an interactive diagram of the articulatory anatomy. posted by Lezzles at 3:10 AM PST - 15 comments
"The crisis is an opportunity to sweep away the rotten postwar settlement of British politics. Labour is moribund. But David Cameron has a chance to develop a "red Tory" communitarianism, socially conservative but sceptical of neoliberal economics" [more inside] posted by doobiedoo at 7:31 PM PST - 22 comments
In 2000, the Spanish Pyrenean Ibex (a type of mountain goat) went extinct. In early 2009 it was brought back to life, the first time an extinct species has been "successfully" cloned. The newborn bucardo died of respiratory failure minutes after birth, setting a second extinction record. posted by stbalbach at 6:04 PM PST - 34 comments
Awakening on a mattress atop a wooden slab, the bare walls of your 7' x 12' cell come into focus, illuminated by the constant glare of an overhead light. Through the narrow window in the back of your cell, you can peer out into the prison yard. In the window in the reinforced steel door, you can catch an occasional glimpse of a prison guard as they bring your meals, usually the only interruption of the silence and isolation that pervade your living conditions. Those walls are the boundaries of your world for 23 hours a day in the Departmental Disciplinary Unit-- the supermax prison maintained in Walpole, Massachusetts, one of dozens of such institutions currently operated in the United States, in spite of growing outcry based on human rights violations. [more inside] posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 4:54 PM PST - 94 comments
" ... the recession, particularly if it turns out to be as long and deep as many now fear, will accelerate the rise and fall of specific places within the U.S.—and reverse the fortunes of other cities and regions." From The Atlantic Online - How the Crash Will Reshape America posted by Afroblanco at 8:35 AM PST - 69 comments
"American air superiority has been so complete for so long that we take it for granted. For more than half a century, we’ve made only rare use of the aerial-combat skills of a man like Cesar Rodriguez, who retired two years ago with more air-to-air kills than any other active-duty fighter pilot. But our technological edge is eroding. ... Now we have a choice. We can stock the Air Force with the expensive, cutting-edge F‑22—maintaining our technological superiority at great expense to our Treasury. Or we can go back to a time when the cost of air supremacy was paid in the blood of men like Rodriguez." - The Last Ace, a feature article in this month's The Atlantic by author Mark Bowden. posted by billysumday at 7:36 AM PST - 63 comments
In 1998, a journalist at The New Republic named Stephen Glass wrote a compelling piece in the influential magazine entitled 'Hack Heaven'. It told the story of how Glass witnessed a 15 year old hacker named Ian Restil being hired by a large Californian computer company named Jukt Micronics at a hacker convention as a security analyst after Restil hacked Jukt's website. But the entire story was, in fact, entirely fictional. [more inside] posted by Effigy2000 at 9:03 PM PST - 46 comments
30 years ago, the sixteenth and final issue of Pizzazz magazine was published by Marvel Comics at a retail price of 75 cents. In addition to cover stories like "Linda Ronstadt: Rock's Superwoman" and "Is Meat Loaf the Cutest Cultural Development Since the Pickle?", Pizzazz published what is arguably the very first addition to the Star Wars Expanded Universe - a serialized comic titled "The Keeper's World". Appearing in October 1977, only 5 months after the theatrical release of what was not yet known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, it comfortably pre-dates Alan Dean Foster's Splinter of the Mind's Eye (March 1978) and even Marvel's own Star Wars #7 comic (January 1978). (previously) posted by Joe Beese at 2:16 PM PST - 15 comments
Foodies, gourmands, and gluttons! Courtesy of those muckrakers at the New York Times, consider this recent op-ed piece. For those still pissed about the Times cheerleading us into Iraq, skip it and just dig this handbook from your federal watchdogs to determine just how much rat shit may have been in those beanie-weenies you enjoyed cold from the can last night at 1:34a.m. Handy alphabetization makes finding your favorite processed foods easy as pie. posted by barrett caulk at 11:50 AM PST - 23 comments
Wilfred Sätty; 1939 - 1982 Illustrator and Collagist extraordinaire; like many talented people of that era hung out at Vesuvio. " There is a time in the span of civilizations when creative energy and the human spirit are wholly, if briefly focused. When this occurs culture in all its manifestations reaches its zenith. The moment passes; civilizations decline, only to be replaced by others. This process of life appears cyclic. Communities become tribes, turn into nations and become empires which, like
suns, radiate their energy to the limits of their power, then decay and finally vanish, leaving behind only traces. This cycle, which may continue until our sun--or our planet--fails us..... "
When you want to know about someone's life you either ask the person yourself or you ask friends ... Sätty is Dead[more inside] posted by adamvasco at 11:33 AM PST - 4 comments
Today is the 20th anniversary of the permanent fatwa pronounced by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini against the life of Salman Rushdie for writing his novelTheSatanicVerses. Said the Ayatollah: "Even if Salman Rushdie repents and becomes the most pious man of all time, it is incumbent on every Muslim to employ everything he has got, his life and wealth, to send him to Hell." posted by rdone at 9:41 AM PST - 41 comments
The Gawain Project is an ongoing translation of the late 14th century anonymous poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (originally written in Middle English) into Modern English, for the amusement of Arthurians and anyone who likes a good story. [via mefi projects] posted by Effigy2000 at 8:18 PM PST - 18 comments
Add-Art is a free FireFox add-on which replaces advertising on websites with curated art images. The artshows are updated every two weeks and feature contemporary artists and curators. posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:01 PM PST - 29 comments
Microsoft announced today, it will open a small number of stores to compete directly against Apple. Some think it's a dubious idea. "In a statement, Microsoft said the first priority of Mr. Porter, who is also a 25-year veteran of Wal-Mart, will be to define where to place the Microsoft stores and when to open them." posted by Xurando at 2:00 PM PST - 115 comments
Alison Des Forges, American historian of Africa, MacArthur genius and top human-rights advocate, was an impassioned observer of the Rwandan genocide, lobbying the United States and United Nations to intervene in the killings, saving some Rwandans from certain death, and later writing one of the definitive histories of the events, "Leave none to tell the story". She testified at hundreds of trials and inquiries resulting from the genocide. Last night, she perished aboard Flight 3407. "Her death is a devastating blow," said the president of Human Rights Watch, where she worked as an advisor. "She epitomized the human rights activist — principled, dispassionate, committed to the truth and to using that truth to protect ordinary people." posted by docgonzo at 12:53 PM PST - 24 comments
Think you've been places? Retired scientist Galen Frysinger has visted 172 countries and 91 dependencies. His photos have been linked in quite a few comments on MeFi, but near as I can tell... never the subject of a post. posted by ecorrocio at 11:28 AM PST - 8 comments
Why music? Music is a human universal, but why did we evolve a desire to create, perform, and enjoy it? From a biological standpoint, does it contribute to survival or, more likely, mate selection and reproduction? posted by rocket88 at 10:15 AM PST - 51 comments
"Collected during my time working from Bangalore, these matchboxes are the tangible memories of my various travels and experiences through India." via (with interview) posted by gman at 8:29 AM PST - 26 comments
LilleMand - Eight year old Mathis writes an essay for school entitled, "How to Understand Women." (via Neatorama) (It will be slow to load. Also, there is brief shower nudity so NSFW) posted by caddis at 8:05 AM PST - 14 comments
Friday Flash Fun: "'Make My Head Grow' is a two player battle game. Each player control a small angry guy trying to push the other guys box over the edge. As everyone knows smacking your head into the ground makes your head grow - maybe even enough to make your box move..." [more inside] posted by Rinku at 7:40 AM PST - 14 comments
Ecstasy's long-term effects revealed. "Enough time has finally elapsed to start asking if ecstasy damages health in the long term. According to the biggest review ever undertaken, it causes slight memory difficulties and mild depression, but these rarely translate into problems in the real world. While smaller studies show that some individuals have bigger problems, including weakened immunity and larger memory deficits, so far, for most people, ecstasy seems to be nowhere near as harmful over time as you may have been led to believe." [Via] posted by homunculus at 10:13 PM PST - 94 comments
"This is a regular Russian school biology textbook owned by some Russian school. He has modified some illustrations so now it’s hard to say sometimes what was there originally and what has appeared as a result of his imagination." posted by squalor at 9:16 PM PST - 24 comments
Powhatan's Mantle was the emblem of kingship worn by Wahunsenacawh, also known as Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas. A deerskin cloak ornamented with shell beadwork, it may at first appear to be only clothing but in fact it is also a map of the Powhatan Confederacy, which ruled most of eastern Virginia when the English first settled there. The mantle was acquired by one of the John Tradescants whose collection was the foundation of Oxford University's Ashmolean Collection and the mantle resides there still today. The first linked article is a fascination article about the mantle as well as a gallery of images of and related to Powhatan's Mantle. posted by Kattullus at 8:36 PM PST - 5 comments
Wikitrivia.net makes trivia questions out of Wikipedia pages. It's a bit rough around the edges, but it does pretty well for not having a magic AI that understands English. Hit reload if you get a question you don't like, or grab the source code if you think you can make it better. posted by tss at 3:05 PM PST - 14 comments
Welcome to Black Thursday, a day quickly becoming known among the legal community as the date where major law firms across the world announced major layoffs of both staff and attorneys. The short list includes such well known firms as DLA Piper, Cadwalader, Epstein Becker, Faegre & Benson, Holland & Knight, Goodwin Procter, Bryan Cave, and Dechert. Dozens more, such as Nixon Peabody, Luce Forward, Paul Hastings, and Merchant and Gould announced layoffs in recent weeks, and more confirmations from yet other firms are likely on lucky Friday the 13th. This was predictable. Harrison Barnes of BCG Attorney Search, a headhunter firm, has some interesting and seemingly altruistic advice (as he sits seaside in the shade) - if you are a part of the layoffs, don't use headhunters. Good luck, folks. posted by Muddler at 2:44 PM PST - 95 comments
We are in the midst of a Ferris wheel craze. In 2009. "This year, Germany will unveil the Great Berlin Wheel. Upon its completion, the wheel will be 606 feet high — as high as two football fields are long, as high as three Niagara Falls. It will be taller than what’s currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, the Singapore Flyer, a soon-to-be-disappointing 541 feet high. This year, China also plans to unveil the Beijing Great Wheel. At an awesome 682 feet high, it will be taller than both the Great Berlin Wheel and the Singapore Flyer (which only debuted as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel last year) ... China has, in fact, built wheels in six cities since the start of the new millennium." posted by geoff. at 12:25 PM PST - 52 comments
In 2005, graphic artist Kentaro Nagai was struck by the play on words between peace and piece in relation to global politics. This concept was expanded in an exhibition entitled Twelve Animals, where Nagai rearranged outlines of the world's landmasses into shapes respective of the aspects of the Chinese Zodiac. [via] posted by Smart Dalek at 10:32 AM PST - 11 comments
Khomeini and the revolution A photo-essay. "I have a 30-year-old book of photographs of the revolution by a photographer named Hatami. I thought it would be interesting to reproduce them for the 30th anniversary of the revolution. I paid my nephew Nico $20 to scan the entire book." posted by Abiezer at 8:33 AM PST - 17 comments
Addiction: thousands of studies have been done claiming that it is a disease, often using rats in isolated cages with a bar-press system of delivery, showing they will repeatedly get high even if it means starving to death. Bruce Alexander was a skeptic, questioning the ecological validity of all such results: "They were said to prove that these kinds of dope are irresistible, and that’s it, that’s the end of the addiction story right there," and after delivering one particularly fruitless seminar in 1976, he decided to build Rat Park to conduct his own studies... [more inside] posted by tybeet at 8:21 AM PST - 47 comments
16 Mindf**k Movies. There’s a certain brand of movie that I most enjoy. Some people call them “Puzzle Movies.” Others call them “Brain Burners.” Each has, at some point or another, been referred to as “that flick I watched while I was baked out of my mind.” posted by billysumday at 7:14 AM PST - 132 comments
So you'll be ready the next time MeFi goes away for awhile, Keep Busy. This is a site with thousands of games and that'll leave a mark type videos for the kid in you. posted by netbros at 8:03 PM PST - 8 comments
World's Mightiest Ship Was Lost Without a Trace in 1744 "In July 1744, she set sail to rescue a Mediterranean convoy blockaded by the French Brest fleet in the River Tagus at Lisbon. After victoriously chasing the French fleet away, she escorted the convoy into the Mediterranean Sea as far as Gibraltar, then set sail to return to her home port in England. During the course of the voyage, her fleet captured a number of valuable prizes, and she was also reported to have taken on board a consignment of 400,000 pounds sterling for Dutch merchants. On her return trip to England, HMS Victory was lost with all hands in a violent storm on October 5, 1744." [pdf][more inside] posted by tellurian at 3:59 PM PST - 11 comments
Valentine's day sucks. After you learn how to survive it alone, count your blessings that at least you aren't on a bad date like Lynn. Hey, once you've cheered up a little,
why not send a card to a special someone and maybe add some candy hearts to the mix. Then again, just boycotting the whole damn thing might be best idea yet. posted by idiotfactory at 1:39 PM PST - 39 comments
They are murderers, rapists, torturers, and enslavers, and they have no right to be part of our social and political life. The best that I can offer the Cylon is neutrality; we return to the state of disengagement that existed prior to the breaking of the peace. The Cylon can go there way in peace, and we can go ours.
Can you say Hero? The Life and Times of Mr. Fred Rogers One of the most influential people ever to grace television, Mr. Rogers was a neighbor to millions of children across the US. His legacy has left a long lasting impression on the fabric of society. With today's children being force fed Hanna Montana, and Joey 101, wouldn't it be nice if we could go to the kingdom of make believe, just one more time? posted by Heliochrome85 at 6:09 AM PST - 57 comments
The kidnapping of Philip Rizk; later they tried to get his father as well. Philip has now been freed. The detention of protesters highlights Middle East governments' ambivalent attitudes towards support for the Palestinians. Here it is worth noting of course that Philip is not alone in his arrest. Another blogger Diaa Eddin Gad has also been arrested as have several people attending a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration. A strong, collective message was sent last February when Egypt and Saudi Arabia introduced a pan-Arab regulatory framework for satellite television stations. The document, titled "Principles for Organizing Satellite Radio and TV Broadcasting in the Arab Region," clearly targets independent and privately owned stations that have been airing criticism of Arab governments. This has helped trigger a Revolution, Facebook-Style. [more inside] posted by adamvasco at 3:27 AM PST - 5 comments
The Vimy Ridge Memorial is a common destination for Canadian travellers in France. As previous visitors have discovered, however, it is not the easiest place to reach once you get off the train. Thankfully, there's been help in the form of the Welcome Man (Windows Media embedded video --clip starts at 11:30). Over the last 13 years Georges Devloo has met the train at Vimy every day, where he offers free transportation to the memorial to confused and lost Canadians seeking to pay their respects. In this time, it's been estimated that M. Devloo has given rides other assistance to over 1,200 Canadians. Today, we said au-revoir to "le grand-père de Vimy". posted by aclevername at 6:32 PM PST - 25 comments
"You take the gatekeeper and you confuse his mind. You threaten him and you throw him in the middle of nowhere. Then nobody knows where the gate is. As soon as you lose the whereabouts of the gate, then you have a culture going downhill. What keeps a village together is a handful of "gays and lesbians," as they call them in the modern world. In my village, lesbians are called witches, and gay men are known as the gatekeepers." The Dagara people of Burkina Faso. [more inside] posted by pinothefrog at 11:21 AM PST - 49 comments
Feel like listening to a concert tonight? Something classical? Or maybe folk is a bit more your style? World? Jazz? Nearly every day, two or three more live concert recordings are added to CBC Radio2's 'Concerts on Demand' library, with nearly 900 concerts now in the list. Each concert is given just as presented live, and you can either stream the whole thing, or choose track by track. Timings are given for all the music, and photo galleries and full descriptions and credits round it all off. All in all, it's a fabulous presentation, and there is more music here than you will ever be able to keep up with! posted by woodblock100 at 7:32 AM PST - 22 comments
A tale of two countries Some time ago, the french & German tv channel Arte had created an internet extension devoted to audio only, Arteradio. This website contains hours of audio creations. This is the place where you can listen to The first radio drama /la première fiction radio /in two languages and one version /en deux langues et une seule version /a BBC-ARTE Radio coproduction /enregistrée à Paris et London /recorded on location /diffusée en hertzien /broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 on February, 4th, 2009 /online on arteradio.com.
You can also listen to McKenzie Wark, or to the moment of silence created on September the eleventh 2002, to Steve, to English pupils in Paris, to Susan George, to Dean Hurley commenting his work, and then dive into the complete unknown, and pure French sounds, like these testimonies about masturbation, or about la chanson, like a Paris postcard, or even a street snapshot. posted by nicolin at 7:05 AM PST - 3 comments
HotBits is an Internet resource that brings genuine random numbers, generated by a process fundamentally governed by the inherent uncertainty in the quantum mechanical laws of nature, directly to your computer in a variety of forms. HotBits are generated by timing successive pairs of radioactive decays detected by a Geiger-Müller tube interfaced to a computer. (Warning: random sounds.) posted by parudox at 7:46 PM PST - 41 comments
According to legend, Einstein was eating chocolate when he came upon the theory of relativity. These sites are all about chocolate and candy in general. Chocolate Obsession.
Hyperbole? Maybe. Just a little. Ok, a lot. Chocolate does have a lot to offer, though. It is a one of a kind food characterized by a truly unique and intense flavor. The idea of Jim's Chocolate Mission came after a discussion with friends about the greatest chocolate bar. Was is the Wispa? Galaxy? Clark? The Chocolate Review is most likely to review English chocolate because that's where they're from, but they also do imports. [more inside] posted by netbros at 9:28 PM PST - 39 comments
American jazz singer Blossom Dearie dead at age 82. American jazz singer Blossom Dearie died Friday in her Greenwich Village home after a long illness. For most, an acquired taste. Her voice and phrasing had a way of drawing you in, taken aback by how soft and gentle she sounded. I think it was New Yorker critic Whitney Balliet who said her voice wouldn't reach the second story of a doll house. [more inside] posted by paddbear at 2:27 PM PST - 66 comments
The Motel in America. In a different America, where the novelty of driving cross-country and the charm of the highway strip drew droves of tourists--and their automobiles--from coast to coast in the name of exploration and recreation, motels provided a home away from home for weary travelers. While many of the great motels of the mid-twentieth century have disappeared from the national landscape, the linen postcards left behind in the Motel Morgue can give us a glimpse into what this era of American tourism and leisure looked like. posted by sarabeth at 10:18 PM PST - 24 comments
In 2003, Major League Baseball ran a testing survey to see if they had a steroid problem. They did, but the names of the 104 players testing positive were kept secret. Today, one of the names was revealed: Alex Rodriguez. posted by Stylus Happenstance at 3:49 PM PST - 115 comments
"Habsburg! A vile being, heir to an illustrious name, born to a fortune, to honours, to soldiers, to prestige, and who finished as the lowest of Montmartre pimps, living from the money of a poor and unstable girl whom he sent to commit his foul deeds in his place!"
On the Militant Trail [Most recent of four articles with links to preceding pieces] Renowned Asia Times correspondent Syed Saleem Shahzad visits Peshawar, capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and takes a journey with the Taliban through the Swat valley. His four-part series of articles examines the differing natures and strategies of various Taliban groups, describes a government counter-insurgency campaign gone seriously awry and finds indications that "a major battle will be fought in Pakistan before the annual spring offensive even begins in Afghanistan this year." posted by Abiezer at 11:31 PM PST - 15 comments
The Lecture System in Teaching Science "Meanwhile, back at the classroom, the lecture is drawing to a close. Just as the bell rings, the lecturer, if he's a really smooth operator, comes to the end of a sentence, a paragraph, a nice neat unit. He lays down his last piece of chalk — he knows exactly how many pieces the lecture will take — picks up his precious lecture notes, and goes out. The students, tired but happy, rise up and follow after him. Their heads are empty, but their notebooks are full. Their necks are a little tired; it's been like a sort of vertical tennis match: board, notebook, board, notebook. But other than that, everything is all right. Any student will tell you, "I never had any trouble with the course until the first examination."" [via] posted by dhruva at 7:34 PM PST - 63 comments
How We Kill Geniuses. "[Elizabeth Gilbert recalls] a story that musician Tom Waits told her years ago. One day he was driving on a Los Angeles freeway when a fragment of a melody popped into his head. He looked around for something to capture the tune -- a pencil or pen -- but had nothing to record it. He started to panic that he'd lose the melody and be haunted by it forever and his talent would be gone. In the midst of this anxiety attack, he suddenly stopped, looked at the sky, and said to whatever force it was that was trying to create itself through the melody, 'Excuse me. Can you not see I'm driving? Do I look like I can write down a song right now? If you really want to exist, come back at a more opportune moment ... otherwise go bother somebody else today. Go bother Leonard Cohen.'" Gilbert explores the idea that we might stifle genius by demanding that creative people be somehow larger than life and something more than human. posted by sarabeth at 2:41 PM PST - 175 comments
"To make off with hubby's fortune, yea, I think I heard of that happenin' once or twice around L.A. And… you want me to do what exactly?" He found the paper bag he'd brought his supper home in and got busy pretending to scribble notes on it, because straight-chick uniform, makeup supposed to look like no makeup or whatever, here came that old well-known hard-on Shasta was always good for sooner or later. Does it ever end, he wondered. Of course it does. It did.Thomas Pynchon's next novel, the 416-page Inherent Vice, is described by Penguin Press as "part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon — private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog." While we wait for its August 4 publication, we can read an essay on the dystopian musical he co-wrote at Cornell or watch a clip of that movie they made of Gravity's Rainbow. [more inside] posted by Joe Beese at 11:43 AM PST - 76 comments
Science & technology funding has an enormous long term impact on the economy, a fact that has not escaped China. Yet, Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have proposed cutting all National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Office of Science funding from the Senate American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, along with almost all other proposed funding of the sciences and technological development, as a part of a $77.9B reduction effort. Why? Well, you'll notice that Nebraska & Maine don't contribute much to science & technology in the United States, nor win many grants, and hence no bacon for Nelson and Collins. [more inside] posted by jeffburdges at 11:42 AM PST - 86 comments
New Extreme Sports. Mega ramp skateboarding, ostrich racing, underwater golfing, pole dancing and pillow fighting are just a few of the innovative new sports you may see in future X Games. (via SpoFi) posted by netbros at 8:27 AM PST - 32 comments
overclockblocked , by Sumit Dan. short story told in speculative chippy dialect.
Fucken AIbrid think he so fucking cool with he retrofleshy stylen. Like you don’t already know he dealin double-helix, not just some two-bit qubit. posted by mwhybark at 7:54 AM PST - 61 comments
"The Beydanes, also known as White Moors, are the ruling caste in Mauritania. They are Arab Berber tribesmen whose ancestors established control in the seventeenth century. The Haratin, also known as Black Moors, are the descendants of black West Africans conquered and enslaved by the Beydanes centuries ago." from the New Yorker story, A Slave in New York, about a former slave who escaped in 1978, came to live in America and now works with the American Anti-Slavery Group. [more inside] posted by nickyskye at 5:34 AM PST - 25 comments
Five Dials is a free, downloadable literary magazine published by Hamish Hamilton (UK publisher of McSweeney's) and featuring so far texts by writers and artists, old and new, including Noam Chomsky, Alain de Botton, Gustave Flaubert, Bob and Roberta Smith, Iain Sinclair, Jean Paul Sartre, Roger Deakin, Raymond Chandler and Jonathan Safran Foer. posted by lucia__is__dada at 4:21 AM PST - 7 comments
Shit's gettin' way too complicated for me 1. Barack Obama puts some salty language (in quotations attributed to others) in his memoir Dreams of My Father.
2. Obama reads the audiobook himself.
3. Obama gets elected President.
4. Blogger posts remix-ready clips of POTUS profanity online.
I can't wait to see what teh intertubes make of this. posted by Artifice_Eternity at 7:21 PM PST - 79 comments
The savings and loan’s decision not to settle the lawsuit made no economic sense for a solvent institution, but it made perfect sense if their principle objective was to maintain the false appearance of solvency for as long as possible. The savings and loan was undoubtedly inflating all of their assets, including my homely little lawsuit, to postpone the inevitable.
What reminded me of that incident from my late, unlamented law practice was the persistent failure of financial institutions to modify mortgages voluntarily. It makes perfect economic sense for a safe and sound institution to avoid the ruinous costs of foreclosure by agreeing to reduce the principal and monthly payment for homeowners who can pay a mortgage, but not the one they’ve got. But according to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, fewer than ten percent of mortgage modifications in November reduced the principal. About half added late payments and penalties to the principal, and either increased monthly payments or added payments at the back end of the mortgage. If a borrower was in default already, what’s the chance the borrower can make a higher monthly payment?
A false etymology is "an assumed or postulated etymology that current consensus among scholars of historical linguistics holds to be incorrect." The internet has provided a platform for the rapid spread of some false etymologies - Snopes has posts debunking Picnic / Handicap / Buck / Crowbar. On the other hand, a folk etymology can mean "the process by which a word or phrase, usually one of seemingly opaque formation, is arbitrarily reshaped so as to yield a form which is considered to be more transparent." Other interesting anomalies of etymology: backronyms and eggcorns. posted by billysumday at 7:56 AM PST - 27 comments
"A striking feature of the New Wall Street System business model was its relentless drive to expand balance sheets, maximizing the asset and liabilities sides. The investment banks used their leverage ratio as the target to be achieved at all times rather than as an outer limit of risk to be reduced where possible by holding surplus capital ... One explanation is that they were doing this in line with the wishes of their shareholders (once they had turned themselves into limited liability companies) ... But there is also another possible explanation for borrowing to the leverage limit: the struggle for market share and for maximum pricing power in trading activities," Against mainstream accounts, Peter Gowan argues that the origins of the global financial crisis lie in the dynamics of the New Wall Street System that has emerged since the 1980s. Contours of the Atlantic model, and implications—geopolitical, ideological, economic—of its blow-out. posted by geoff. at 5:28 AM PST - 21 comments
Iraq: "A woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame."
Algeria: "Evil al-Qaeda chiefs are raping young male converts to shame them into becoming suicide bombers, it emerged yesterday. " posted by davidstandaford at 1:49 PM PST - 140 comments
Objective measurements of RAW images are an essential basis for any analysis of digital cameras, but such measurements were neither possible nor available until now. DxO Labs has developed a new scale for digital camera image quality performance, called DxOMark Sensor, to serve as an additional tool to help photographers rank and compare digital cameras. This scale is based on three underlying metrics, Color Depth, Dynamic Range and Low-Light ISO, each one tied to a real-life photographic scenario: landscape, studio & portrait, and photojournalism & sport. (This application requires Flash™ as it uses FusionCharts.) Hours of fun sorting the data by the various metrics, including $$$. [more inside] posted by spock at 12:07 PM PST - 39 comments
Is it Friday yet? "Tag: The Power of Paint is a free, first-person puzzle platformer which focuses on the players’ ability to modify their environment as they see fit, simply by painting it." (Windows) posted by jbickers at 10:11 AM PST - 20 comments
uniCornify the Web! That's right. Unicorns and rainbows when you feel the web is icky or frustrating. Here's what Metafilter could look like. If you want you can add their java snippet to your browser bar and cornify anything! posted by filmgeek at 10:02 AM PST - 23 comments
The Tax Gap - "The Guardian will examine the extent of tax avoidance by big business, day-by-day over two weeks. We are naming more than 20 major British companies, and analysing their secretive tax strategies to ask: are they paying their fair share?". posted by Gyan at 7:23 AM PST - 34 comments
FreelanceSwitch covers many of the topics freelancers need to know about with their daily articles and tips. They run a freelance job board and have regular podcasts so you can learn a little something while you work or commute. Check out the FreelanceSwitch forums for support and advice from other freelancers, or check out their resources section. [more inside] posted by netbros at 7:19 AM PST - 4 comments
"The biggest problem with the metal bikini, was that it wasn’t metal. ——Not that metal would’ve been an improvement over what it was actually made of, which was kind of a hard plastic. Whatever it was, it didn’t adhere to one’s skin. MY skin. My young, soon to be popular, unlucky skin. SO, when I was relaxing leisurely against Jabba the Hutt’s gigantic, albiet grotesque stomach, my hard, plastic bikini bottom……….well, it had the tendency to make my now not so private privates quite public. Especially for the actor standing behind Jabba playing Bobba Fett—–I believe his name was Jeremy—–from where Bobba/Jeremy stood, so straight and tall and severe behind his mask——to put it simply and weirdly, Jeremy could see beyond my yawning, plastic bikini bottoms all the way to Florida."
- Carrie Fisher goes from writing the occasional book to daily blogging, from substance abuse to abusing punctuation posted by crossoverman at 2:44 PM PST - 66 comments
Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree. "Using inexpensive off-the-shelf components, an information security expert has built a mobile platform that can clone large numbers of the unique electronic identifiers used in US passport cards and next generation drivers licenses. The $250 proof-of-concept device - which researcher Chris Paget built in his spare time - operates out of his vehicle and contains everything needed to sniff and then clone RFID, or radio frequency identification, tags. During a recent 20-minute drive in downtown San Francisco, it successfully copied the RFID tags of two passport cards without the knowledge of their owners." [Via] posted by homunculus at 2:32 PM PST - 24 comments
Let's Talk About Sex. Challenging the convention that Americans are reluctant to have sexual health issues taught in school, the surveys show that most parents, along with educators and students themselves, would expand sexual education courses and curriculum.
In the meantime, somechurches are offering their own curriculum, based on guidelines developed by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. posted by lunit at 9:19 AM PST - 29 comments
Hints to Travellers served as the Royal Geographical Societies unofficial bible, used by late 19th and early 20th century British explorers such as Shackleton, Scott, Richard Burton, Col. Perry Fawcett and other legends who carried it into the field as a practical state of the art manual of gentlemanly exploration. Indiana Jones no doubt has his own copy too. Don't leave home without it! [more inside] posted by stbalbach at 5:51 AM PST - 19 comments
The Canadian Journalism Project (CJP) and its websites, J-Source.ca (English) and ProjetJ.ca (French), provides a source for news, research, commentary, advice, discussion and resources about the achievement of, and challenges to, excellence in Canadian journalism. posted by netbros at 11:40 PM PST - 5 comments
Make your handwriting into a font with Yourfonts. Download the PDF, draw your alphabet, scan and upload, then download the finished result. Examples. Via Drawn! posted by Rinku at 4:26 PM PST - 31 comments
LayoffDaily.com -- thoroughly cataloging each day's depressing layoff news, from the very small companies to the very large, and updated several times a day. (But there's also a small section of the site devoted to news of companies and government org's that are hiring.) posted by Asparagirl at 3:46 PM PST - 42 comments
There's been quite a stir in Finland about the world's biggest cell phone maker, Nokia, after it was alleged yesterday that politicians had been pressured by the company in order for a law on electronic surveillance of its employees would to be passed. The company denies threats to leave the country if email monitoring laws are not introduced. Electric Frontier Finland is considering taking the case into the ECHR. posted by keijo at 9:41 AM PST - 17 comments
Robert Pinter, a 52-year-old gay man who was arrested for prostitution at the Blue Door in the East Village on Oct. 10, spoke at the town hall meeting. He said a young man ... cruised him in the store. He was "charming and persistent, and we agreed to go home for consensual sex, but as we were leaving he said, 'I want to pay you $50 [to have sex].' I didn't respond, but I thought it was strange," Pinter recounted. As the men left the store, Pinter said, a group of men who did not show police identification pushed him against the wall. "I thought I'd been set up by a gang," he said. "I asked them why they were doing this to me. I was totally clueless. They handcuffed me and said, 'Why the f--- do you think we're arresting you — loitering for the purpose of prostitution.'"
The Right to Walk Away Has panarchist thinking finally come of age in 2009? With world leaders of big governments failing to find any new solutions to old problems, should we have the right to walk away from those governments? posted by stuffedspacedog at 12:49 AM PST - 35 comments
Race With The Devil "This novel fusion of car-chase film and spooky horror became a surprise box-office hit in 1975. The story begins with car enthusiasts Frank (Warren Oates) and Roger (Peter Fonda) taking their wives, Kelly (Lara Parker) and Alice (Loretta Swit), on a vacation in a recreational vehicle. Their camping trip goes horribly awry when Frank and Roger accidentally stumble upon a group of hooded Satanists committing a human sacrifice. The cultists give chase..." 1::2::3::4::5::6::7::8::9 posted by vronsky at 4:09 PM PST - 34 comments
Wade Mainer played a two-finger style of banjo, between old timey and bluegrass. Here is an interview he did with David Holt at the age of 97. Part 2. Part 3. Still playing strong! posted by RussHy at 6:01 AM PST - 9 comments
Human fat was supposed to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis, while a paste made from corpses was believed to help against contusions.... For some Protestants,... , it served as a sort of substitute for the Eucharist, or the tasting of the body of Christ in Holy Communion. Some monks even cooked "a marmalade of sorts" from the blood of the dead. . . . . The assumption was that all organisms have a predetermined life span. If a body died in an unnatural way, the remainder of that person's life could be harvested, as it were -- hence the preference for the executed.... In 1492, when Pope Innocent VIII was on his deathbed, his doctors bled three boys and had the pope drink their blood. The boys died, and so did the pope.